PITTSFIELD — Chili's Grill & Bar plans to build a new restaurant in Pittsfield, a spokesperson for Berkshire Crossing announced Thursday afternoon.

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant could open by the end of the year, said Kristen Moore, a spokesperson for Brixmor Property Group, owner of Berkshire Crossing.

Last month, the city's Conservation Commission approved plans to demolish the Hubbard Avenue building that housed Old Country Buffet, which closed abruptly in February 2016. During its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday evening, the commission approved plans to construct the new restaurant in its place in the development's outparcel along Dalton Avenue.

Chili's is an international chain featuring casual dining and Tex-Mex cuisine. The first Chili's opened in 1975, according to the company's website, and now has hundreds of sister locations in 32 countries.
Commissioners said they had no environmental concerns with the project, noting the new building — at about half the square footage of the existing one — would be conservatively tucked back from the neighboring stream, the East Branch of the Housatonic River.

Reach Amanda Drane at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter or at 413-496-6296.